Disney Lorcana artist Alice Pisoni on the perks – and pressure – that comes with illustrating icons

Alice Pisoni, Disney Lorcana

Alice, it’s great to connect. To kick us off, were you a big Disney fan prior to working on Disney Lorcana?
I’d never worked with Disney before this, but it’s been a dream come true because I’m a huge Disney fan. I have been for my whole life… My favourite movies are Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King – classics! When I had the opportunity to be part of the Lorcana project, I couldn’t believe it.

Had you worked in the board game space before?
No, never. Disney Lorcana was my first project in this space. And then last month, a party game called Tristerra came out that I worked on. It was a lot of fun, as is Lorcana. But there’s more pressure with Lorcana!

In what sense?
These are iconic characters I’m illustrating! I don’t want to mess it up!

Ha! Let’s dive into your work on Lorcana, starting with the Mickey Mouse – Playful Sorcerer card. What was the brief?
It was pretty simple, but we know the simpler something appears, the more difficult it is! The idea was to recreate the iconic scene from Fantasia of Mickey on the rock playing with the waves. They wanted Mickey to have a resolute expression – but not angry. He had to be sure of himself. I also had to convey the magic ink characteristics in the picture.

Alice Pisoni, Disney Lorcana

Yes, and this card is a Steel glimmer, is that right?
Yes. And Steel cards must convey strength… The images must have a bulky feeling… Square and strong. I included square lines in the rock cracks, and also in the waves. That was tricky – how can you make water square!? I kept the liquid feeling at the top of the waves, but added square lines in the water.

The other way to convey a sense of Steel was in the colour palette. It was mainly a grey palette, but when I was playing around with the lighting and thinking about what would contrast the grey, the bright pink spoke to me. It really helped to brighten up the image. It was a fun process.

And you mentioned pressure earlier… This is one of the most iconic Disney images of all time!
And I didn’t quite realise how iconic it was when I was working on it! Once it had come out, I started to grasp how lucky I was to work on such an iconic character in such an iconic scene… It’s like ‘Wow! I used to watch this when I was a kid and now I had the chance to draw it!’

Has it been interesting following Lorcana as it continues to grow and capture the passion of both Disney and TCG fans?
I didn’t expect to receive so much love from the Lorcana fans. I’ve never been into TCGs, so I had no idea how big the community could be. I had never followed games like Magic: The Gathering or Pokémon… Now, I’ll post pictures of my art from Ursula’s Return and people write messages saying: “I love your work” or “You drew my favourite character perfectly”. It’s so nice to see messages like that. They brighten my day.

Alice Pisoni, Disney Lorcana

Lovely. Alice, this has been fun. Before we wrap up, can you talk us through some other cards you’ve done for Disney Lorcana?
I did the Alice – Growing Girl enchanted card from set two. For this card, I got to be involved in the costume design – where she’s wearing the house! My favourite card I did from set one is ‘You Have Forgotten Me’ from The Lion King. It’s one of the most iconic scenes from the movie, where Mufasa comes out from the clouds… No pressure! But my heart goes to the Beast – Forbidding Recluse card from set two… He’s my absolute favourite character in the Disney world and seeing the art on the playmat was a blast.

Alice Pisoni, Disney Lorcana

They look fantastic. I have one last question. You mentioned being a big Disney fan. Does that help your design process when it comes to Lorcana?
I think it does, especially if you’re working on a character you like. You want to do it justice! For example, I did the Sheriff of Nottingham – Corrupt Official card – and I love that character. I had so much fun drawing him, doing the pose, the costume…

Alice Pisoni, Disney Lorcana

You can’t help but put more into the card when you like the character… It will have, let’s say, that extra ‘sparkle’.

Alice, a huge thanks again.

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